Obama backs Clinton for president with ‘I’m with her’ video
WASHINGTON – Agence France-Presse
REUTERS photoU.S. President Barack Obama endorsed one-time rival Hillary Clinton to be his successor June 9, signaling to Democrats it is time to unify after a bitter primary campaign and beat Republican candidate Donald Trump.
“Tens of millions of Americans made their voices heard. Today I just want to add mine,” Obama said in a video endorsement. “I’m with her.”
Their first joint campaign event will take place next June 15 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Obama won the state in 2008 and 2012, but Democrats expect a tough fight this year.
Obama’s endorsement, although long expected, is a shot in the arm for the Clinton campaign.
She has struggled for a year against leftist rival Bernie Sanders. The 74-year-old ran an unlikely grassroots campaign that swelled to a 12-million-strong movement.
Clinton finally clinched the nomination just days ago, prompting Obama to offer his backing.
“I don’t think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office,” Obama said.
The 44th president’s support gives Clinton a potent surrogate on the campaign trail.
Ex-presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were so toxic by their eighth year in office that would-be successors kept them at arm’s length.
By contrast, Obama is still one of the country’s most popular politicians.
His approval ratings among black, Hispanic, young and liberal voters are stratospheric.
Clinton welcomed the vote of confidence: “Honored to have you with me, @POTUS. I’m fired up and ready to go!” she tweeted, echoing one of Obama’s own campaign rallying cries from 2008.
In that primary race, Obama bested Clinton and eventually became the first black president. They later made peace, as Clinton became his first secretary of state.
Now the 68-year-old Clinton is trying to make history of her own by becoming the first female commander in chief.
Standing in her way is bombastic businessman Trump. He has shocked the world by becoming the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
“Obama just endorsed Crooked Hillary. He wants four more years of Obama - but nobody else does!” Trump tweeted.
“Delete your account,” wrote Clinton on Twitter in response to Trump.
Within two hours of Clinton’s tweet, her message was retweeted 200,000 times, making it “the most retweeted tweet of the campaign!” according to Clinton’s social media director Alex Wall.
Trump’s racially tinged rhetoric has split the Grand Old Party. A growing number of Republicans say they will not vote for him.
But “The Donald” appears to be uniting Democrats.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a darling of the left who had been pressed by supporters to mount her own White House bid, and who has since been discussed as a possible vice presidential pick, rounded out the high-profile Democratic endorsements.
“I am ready to get in this fight and work my heart out for Hillary Clinton,” the liberal stalwart told MSNBC, “and to make sure that Donald Trump never gets any place close to the white house.